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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 February 2007, 11:35 GMT
Security dominates US-Japan talks
US Vice-President Dick Cheney waves to US troops stationed at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, on 21 February 2007
Dick Cheney met thousands of US troops stationed in Japan
US Vice-President Dick Cheney has held talks with Japanese leaders that focused on the North Korean nuclear issue and the Iraq war.

Mr Cheney also visited US troops based in Japan and praised the country as "one of America's closest allies".

He said Japan and the US shared the same values and said it was an alliance for "Asia and for the world".

Mr Cheney also affirmed US commitment to the Iraq war and discussed Tokyo's position on the North Korea talks.

The US vice-president came to thank the Japanese government for its staunch support and to seek to reinforce the two nations' security ties, the BBC's Chris Hogg in Tokyo says.

Japan sent troops to help with reconstruction efforts in Iraq and its self defence forces provide logistical support for the Nato-led coalition in Afghanistan.

Abductee issue

Mr Cheney used a meeting with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko to thank Japan for its contributions for Iraq and Afghanistan.

He also reiterated Washington's determination to keep US troops in both countries to prevent them becoming terrorist bases, Japanese officials said.

Missile defence and the realignment of US troops based in Japan were on the agenda in talks with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki.

Mr Shiozaki said he also explained to the US vice-president Japan's decision not to fund a deal agreed last week, under which North Korea would end its nuclear programme in exchange for economic and energy aid.

Earlier in the week, Foreign Minister Taro Aso - who was also meeting Mr Cheney - linked the provision of aid to progress on the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by the North in the 1970s and 80s to train North Korean spies.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was set to dine with Mr Cheney in the evening, said he planned to set out Japan's position on the sensitive issue.

Mr Cheney is due to meet the family of an abductee before he leaves Japan for the US Pacific island of Guam and Australia, his final stop.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Dick Cheney meets Japan's Shinzo Abe



SEE ALSO
Rice hails N Korea nuclear deal
13 Feb 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Agreement on US-Japan troop deal
02 May 06 |  Asia-Pacific
US and Japan make troop cost deal
24 Apr 06 |  Asia-Pacific
US to cut Okinawa troop numbers
29 Oct 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Japan, US sign defence pact
17 Dec 04 |  Asia-Pacific
US urged to reduce Japan bases
16 Nov 03 |  Asia-Pacific

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